Artichokes.

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About a month ago, Danielle from Sometimes Sweet posted a writing prompt that went like this:

“The older we get, the more certain we get about who we are and what our purpose is. For me, a lot of it is still unknown, but as I make my way down my own path, I have begun to realize that there are indeed some inevitable truths that I know for sure. On your own blog, write a post that talks about “the one thing you know for sure.”

I didn’t use this writing prompt on my blog (although I guess I sort of am now), but I was really intrigued by the question, and I’ve been ruminating on it ever since. Most of the time, I feel like I don’t really know anything about anything, or when I think I do, it always ends up being turned on its head, so I started to wonder if there really was anything that I knew for sure. After thinking on it for the past month, I think I’ve come up with an answer: kindness.

Which is to say, Plato had it right when he said “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Life is beautiful, but life can also crush people: there is no way of knowing what another person is going through in secret, and kindness or lack thereof can be a make-or-break factor in someone’s day/week/month/year. When I have bad days where life is crushing me, and someone fails (unintentionally or otherwise) to display kindness in their interactions with me, it can push me over the edge; conversely, when I’m having a bad day and someone displays unsolicited kindness toward me, it can be the turning point, the point where my spirit is buoyed by their acknowledgment of, and regard for, my humanity. I always try to remember that in my interactions with other people. Whether it’s my boss or a busboy, there is nothing I stand to lose by being kind to another person, no matter the situation. We are all humans and we all have hearts, so it makes sense that we should always try to behave as such, never actively trying to bruise each other but rather handling each other’s hearts with care. I truly believe, with every ounce of my being, that kindness makes all the difference.

With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo for a while now and have been trying to decide on something I’d be happy to have on my body for the rest of my life, and something that also encompasses my striving to always be kind. Have you seen the movie Amelie?

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I think I’ve found my tattoo.

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